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A new sourdough bagel recipe

May 24, 2011

I tried out a new sourdough bagel recipe the other day and I have to say that I am mighty impressed with it. It was light yet had all the lovely chewy bagel properties. And it was so quick and easy to make. I must admit to being very suspicious of the method. Not only did I mix the dough in my kitchen aid mixer (no mess and no effort!), but I had to shape it almost immediately and leave it shaped to rest overnight. Now I was sure the shape would change, it would turn to a big blob overnight…but no, it retained shape perfectly. It didn’t look like it rose at all, so then I was suspicious that they would be little bricks. But check out the picture below, they were lovely and light. I don’t know why it worked, but I like it. My kids gave them the thumbs up and said they were better than my standard sourdough bagel recipe.

Now the original recipe and method is here. You know me, I can’t follow a recipe properly. I don’t get too fussed to be precise with my measurements, although I do use a digital scale. (It irks me slightly that sourdough bakers are so pedantic about measurements, giving quantities like 405gm and 117gm etc. Sourdough is such an ancient art, certainly predated scales, let along digital scales that measure in 1gm increments. That is my excuse anyway for sloppy measurements. And I tell myself I don’t care if my bread is not exactly the same time after time. After all, the weather is not the same, the time I knead is not the same…so many variables…why get stressed about just one?~!) But if you are that way inclined, I encourage you to go to the original recipe at the Wildyeast blog. I didn’t add extra gluten or milk powder as the original recipe suggests – I wonder what sort of difference it would make. Here is what I did:

Sourdough Bagels – the new recipe and method

300gm starter
350gm flour
120gm water
1 heaped tablespoon malt extract
1 heaped teaspoon salt

Combine all of the ingredients and mix in a stand mixer for 5 or so minutes, until you have a good ball of dough. Cover the bowl with some cling wrap and leave for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 balls. Leave for 10 minutes. Shape each ball into a log, then join ends together by wrapping over your hand and seal the join by rolling it on the bench. Place each shaped bagel onto a baking tray that is covered with baking paper and liberally sprinkled with polenta (or semolina). Cover the entire tray in a plastic bag and leave on the bench for 4 hours. Put the tray into the refrigerator for 6-8 hours.

Preheat your oven to maximum temperature. Bring a big pot of water to the boil. Add in a teaspoon on bicarbonate soda. Boil each bagel for about 20 seconds. (My trick here is to cut up the baking paper into smaller sections and then lift the paper and put the bagel and paper into the water. After a couple of seconds the paper slides off and you can take it out. Easier than trying to prise those bagels off the paper!). Remove, drain and put back on a baking tray. Put into a very hot oven and immediately drop the temperature to about 220 degrees centigrade. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2011 5:10 PM

    They look just perfect and it’s always nice to find a recipe that works well with less effort too!

  2. May 25, 2011 12:09 PM

    How lovely do they look! I haven’t played with bagels before, but I like your paper dropping trick.
    I always frown when I see the 117g measurements as well. If it looks vaguely like a cup it gets shoved in. I like to surprise myself with how the end product will be :-) (otherwise known as hack baking in my kitchen.)

    • May 27, 2011 5:33 PM

      Hahaa, love your hack baking concept Brydie :) All jokes aside, these bagels look amazing, love a good bagel too :)

  3. May 28, 2011 7:02 AM

    They look great, SG! :)

  4. June 2, 2011 2:05 AM

    Stoked to see someone else mocking precise measurements – I argue no two people cant follow a recipe and come out with the same result. Too many variables. I really need to get another sourdough starter going, being so close to San Francisco = best bread in America. One day I will get around to making bagels too. Nice effort

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      June 9, 2011 4:35 PM

      Not so much ‘mocking’ as much as a ‘not my cup of tea’ kind of approach…
      And yes, you can’t live so close to San Francisco and not get started with some sourdough! Go do it…

  5. Peta permalink
    June 13, 2011 6:13 PM

    Sorry to ask a dumb question, but is malt extract a liquid or powder? Is it like malted milk powder? Thank you!

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      June 13, 2011 6:26 PM

      Not a dumb question at all. I wondered about it myself. I use a malt extract that is like a very thick honey consistency. I think you can buy a powdered malt as well but I had trouble finding some initially and ended up sticking with the one I had bought (its a relatively big tin!). Not sure if you are based in Australia – if you are, check out Coles and Woolworths as that is where I got mine. Not always available though so you might have to hunt around.

      • Peta permalink
        June 13, 2011 6:31 PM

        Thanks so much for that. I am based in Australia. I will check out the supermarkets.

  6. June 15, 2011 8:40 PM

    Sounds delicious! Great tip re. the baking paper. I look forward to trying these (hopefully soon!) :)

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